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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Peckford: The legality and morality of our country are no longer aligned


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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Peckford

“Our legal system may find me/us guilty, but the legality and morality of our country are no longer aligned.”

This is a part of the statement by Marco Huigenbos of the Coutts three after being found guilty of mischief for behaviour at the Alberta border during the Covid protests.

The “Coutts Three,” Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen

Mr. Huigenbos hits the nail squarely on the head – – –

This country through its so called legal system has ignored the Charter of Rights and Freedoms opening words —‘Whereas Canada is founded on principles that recognize the Supremacy of God and the Rule of Law ‘ and abused Section 1 of this same Charter by violating ‘ demonstrably justify’ and in ‘a free and democratic society ‘ and hence no longer has the decency or respect towards its people that is characteristic of a democratic nation.

Thousands have been injured and many hundreds dead as a result of Governments’ mandates and lockdowns and blatant coercion and lies to use experimental health damaging vaccines. Peoples’ rights and freedoms have been trampled on and our Constitution destroyed.

These Coutts men are to be lauded for their courage, their faith and their tenacity in the face of the country’s leadership, at all levels, that has lost its way.

This present leadership political, judicial in our country, at federal, provincial and municipal levels have abused the efforts our early 19th century reformers who were fighting for our rights and freedoms and have insulted all those who fought for our country’s freedom in the great wars.

Mr. Huigenbos’s wisdom shines forth today.

The Honourable A. Brian Peckford P.C. is the last living First Minister who helped craft the Canadian Charter of Rights

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Canada’s elites suppress freedom of speech on indigenous matters

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Peter Best

Under section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadians are guaranteed freedom of thought, belief, and expression. These freedoms are fundamental in our democratic society. In fact, an official government commentary on the Charter states: “In a democracy, people must be free to discuss matters of public policy, criticize governments and offer their own solutions to social problems.”

Given this claim, it is, indeed, a mystery why free speech is protected when people say  that Israel’s policies and practices towards the Palestinians are “racist,” but not when they say that Canada’s policies and practices towards Indigenous peoples are “racist.”

When it comes to Indigenous issues, our academic, media, and political elites have a Charter of Rights free speech blind spot. They refuse to allow contrary minded, but enlightened Nelson Mandela-like beliefs to be voiced unless those people want to be labeled as “racist.” Only a few brave souls have been willing to be pillarized by transgressing this “sacred” boundary.

This writer went over this line when he arranged a Chapters book-signing for There Is No Difference, a book that advocates for the greater integration of Indigenous people into Canadian society, only to have the event cancelled by the bookstore  who chose silence over free speech. Surprisingly, only one mainstream journalist, Barbara Kay in The National Post, defended my free speech rights.

But I am not alone.

A few years ago, Senator Lynn Beyak dared to say that some good came from residential schools, a view that is, in fact, reflected in the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Report, and was shared by eminent Indigenous author and residential school student Basil Johnston in his book, Indian School Days.

For making defensible assertions, Senator Beyak was excoriated by politicians from all parties, and mocked by editorial writers as an ignorant rube. In 2019, she was kicked out of the Conservative caucus, and shortly after she resigned from the Senate.

Associate Professor Frances Widdowson was exercising her “academic freedom,” but, nevertheless, was fired from Mount Royal University in 2021 for challenging the Indigenous status quo. In doing so, the university proved that its core mission was to protect the feelings of Indigenous people and not to challenge fallacies and uphold truth-seeking in a free and open debate.

The same year, an Abbotsford B.C. high school teacher, Jim McMurtry, was fired for saying that most Indigenous children who died in residential schools died because of diseases like influenza and tuberculosis. Even though this fact is reported in the TRC Report, it did not save Mr. McMurtry from unceremonially losing his teaching career.

In 2024, the mayor of Quesnel B.C., Ron Paull, was censured and the nearby First Nations bands boycoted him because his wife — a private citizen in her own right — handed out copies of Grave Error to friends and acquaintances. This book is a scholarly challenge to the “cultural genocide” claimed by the Kamloops Indigenous band.

Also, in 2024, a Manitoba school trustee, Paul Coffey, faced pressure to resign for publicly echoing what Senator Beyak had said a few years earlier.

These cases — and many others — clearly illustrate that no government official, no member of a provincial or territorial legislature, and few mainstream academics and journalists will defend contrary-minded “heretics” exercising their right to free speech, a right that is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In fact, few mainstream news media outlets reported on these stories in a dispassionate and professional way. The CBC, for example, consistently emphasizes the “hurt feelings of the aggrieved,” making their outrage the focus of their reporting. In no media reports has the CBC mentioned the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, implying that Charter protected freedom of speech is no longer relevant in their reporting on Indigenous matters.

Hurt feelings, of course, are irrelevant to academics and journalists because the search for truth always involves controversies that hurt the feelings of some people.

Even more outrageous, the federal government has actively demonized Canadians who challenge misinformation about Indigenous people by proposing to make it a crime for people to engage in what it calls “residential school denialism.” As a result, people who care about the best interests of Indigenous peoples but have contrary-minded views, are afraid to speak up for fear of being called “denialists,” as if they were denying the European Holocaust.

Nevertheless, many Canadians believe that the proper way to advance reconciliation with Indigenous people is to phase out the dependency relationship that has grown since the Indian Act was enacted in 1876. Many also think that Indigenous peoples should be equal with other Canadians—no better, and certainly no worse.

Some Canadians even believe that Canadian governments should not support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) that creates a strong “consult and accommodate” hammerlock on the development of Canadian resources. Similarly, many believe that the “nation to nation” relationship is polarizing citizens leading to ruinous economic and social policies for both Indigenous bands and Canadian society.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Canadians realize that it is best to keep thoughts like these ones to themselves.

Our elites have breached their fiduciary responsibilities to Canadians. It is a tragedy that they do not encourage other viewpoints. In this respect, Peter Wehner correctly says: “The truths to be discovered are complex and many-sided, and the only way to get to them is by engaging with contrary ideas in a manner approaching dialogue.”

It would be in the best interest of Canadians, if our elites shed their hostility towards those who disagree with them. But to do this, they need to develop the confidence and open-mindedness that the French philosopher Montaigne implied when he wrote: “When I am contradicted it arouses my attention, not my wrath. I move towards the man who contradicts me; he is instructing me. The cause of truth ought to be common to both of us.”

But in discussing Canadian Indigenous issues, the Canadian elites are inexplicably unwilling to grant to others the same Charter of Rights-free speech presumptions that they keep for themselves when they support “anti-Zionists” shouting obnoxious statements and insults. When they do this, they are dividing Canadians, losing our trust, and increasing the grave harm to all Canadians but especially to Indigenous Canadians.

 Peter Best is a retired lawyer in Sudbury and the author of There is no Difference which argues that Canada’s laws should be changed to make all Canadians equal under the law, regardless of race.

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Frontier Centre for Public Policy

They spent $8,000,000 without putting one shovel in the ground

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Giesbrecht

That’s how much money the Kamloops Band spent on…..exactly what we have no idea. If you remember, that indigenous band claimed that the people running the local residential school had, for unexplained reasons, secretly buried 215 of the students under their care. They had no evidence that would have stood up in any court in the western world to back up that highly unlikely claim. But the federal government immediately gave them $8,000,000 to……well, that’s the mystery. What did they spend that money on? They have not put one shovel in the ground, but apparently they have somehow spent the $8,000,000 of taxpayers’ hard earned money. It was claimed that the money would be used to uncover the “heartbreaking truth”. But the only heartbreaking truth seems to be the complete waste of tax dollars.But it gets worse. A whole lot worse.

Because the Trudeau government- in addition to lowering the flag for six months, and performing teddy bear pantomimes in community ceremonies – then went on to promise not just $8,000,000, but $320,000,000 – to any other indigenous community that wanted to make similar claims.

It should come as no surprise to any sentient being that dozens of poor indigenous communities immediately took the bait and claimed the prize.

So, the result is that hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent somehow. But with no graves found. In fact, none have even put a spade in the ground.

Well, that’s not completely correct. The Pine Creek community in Manitoba was absolutely convinced that the stories about indigenous children dying under sinister circumstances, and being secretly buried under the local church, must be true. After all, they had all heard those stories.

The stories weren’t true. Excavations went ahead, and what was found? Stones.

The stories about priest murders and secret burials are just that. Stories. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars that should be spent on useful endeavours – like providing better health care for indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians – are being wasted. Rural paramedic services are being constantly cut back, for example. How many rural residents- indigenous as well as non-indigenous- will die from heart attacks because the paramedics were simply too far away from them to get them to the hospital in time to save their lives.There’s no money to improve rural medical services because millions are being wasted searching for phantom “missing children” and “unmarked graves”?

Canadians are beginning to wake up to the fact that they have been had. Somebody is getting rich on all of this government largesse. But it’s not poor indigenous Canadians. They remain stuck on the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder. And medical and other essential services go wanting, because of this complete waste.

So, are there people in “unmarked graves”?

Absolutely. Billions of them in fact. This planet is basically one huge graveyard. The number of marked graves, with headstones naming the person interred, is a tiny fraction of the billions of people who have died on this planet.

Are the remains of some of the children who died from disease while attending residential school in unmarked graves? Absolutely. For that matter, so are the remains of many of the children who attended day schools, or no school at all in unmarked graves. There is nothing sinister about this fact of life. It simply means that the families of those children did not keep up the graves and cemeteries where the children were interred. (The vast majority of children who died while enrolled in residential schools are buried on their home reserves). This is not a criticism of those families. In fact, some of those families might have died out, and cemetery upkeep became impossible. Others just had different priorities.

So, what we have is just a sad fact of life. Many children died of diseases a hundred plus years ago who would not have died today. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing. And indigenous children died in much greater numbers, for many different reasons. Tuberculosis, in particular, was a major killer of indigenous people.

In fact, tuberculosis is still 290 times higher in the indigenous community than in the mainstream community.

But the fact that death from disease was so much higher in the indigenous community than in the non-indigenous community has nothing to do with residential schools. It has nothing to do with the people running the schools, many of whom devoted their lives to working with indigenous people.

So, we come around to the question – why is $320,000,000 being spent to find the long lost burial places of children, simply because their families decided – for reasons of their own – to not keep up their gravesites? Because it is not true that there are thousands of “missing children” as alleged. Rather, as Professor Tom Flanagan puts it, in “Grave Error”, there are thousands of “forgotten children”. And as the special interlocutor, Kimberley Murray puts it, “These children are not missing, they are buried in local cemeteries”.

Perhaps that’s the reason that Murray’s upcoming National Gathering on Unmarked Burials has been postponed. Because there is nothing to say. Her six figure salary, and those of all of her staff and associates – to say nothing of the $320,000,000 that has been spent – somehow – on searching for phantom graves and phantom “missing children” – could have been better spent on the real needs of living children.

We are approaching the three year anniversary of the Kamloops claim that 215 children from the local residential school had been somehow killed and secretly buried in the apple orchard on the school grounds. There was no good reason to believe that highly improbable claim in the first place. It was only the foolish and emotional reaction of the Trudeau government, and the incompetence of the media that persuaded Canadians that they should take that nonsensical claim seriously in the first place.

It is time to get back to sanity. Treat those who claim – with no real evidence – that priests murdered and secretly buried children – exactly the same way that we treat those who claim that the Martians have landed, or that aliens have abducted their mothers.

Be polite. But don’t finance their delusions.

Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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